5 Cleaning Tips Everyone Should Know to Keep a Healthy Home

Even if cleaning’s not your thing, it’s good to have these tricks in your back pocket. 

Some people like to clean. Others don't—and are always looking for ways to make cleaning more enjoyable. Whatever category you fall into, one thing's for sure: A certain amount of cleaning is necessary.

We don't all have to be cleaning pros. But to maintain a safe and healthy home, you'll benefit from knowing certain cleaning tips. From the importance of washing certain items every day to the right way to disinfect, here are some morsels of cleaning knowledge that will serve you well.

01 of 05

The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

Knowing the right terms will help you buy the right products—and the right products make the process easier. While cleaning removes all visible dirt, dust, and debris from a surface, disinfecting works on the microscopic level to rid a surface of bacteria and viruses.

Sanitizing is somewhere in between—not killing all germs but reducing them to a safe level. Why wouldn't you want to kill all germs? For some items—like cooking tools, food prep surfaces, and toys that children might put in their mouths—it's best to avoid the harshest, germ-destroying chemicals.

Cleaning the toilet or tackling a big mess involving bodily fluids? Time to bring out a disinfecting spray or natural disinfectant. Just wiping down a kitchen counter? Use a sanitizer that's formulated for your countertop. Start by wiping away dust and crumbs before spritzing the surface; otherwise, the debris will act as a barrier, preventing the spray from reaching the surface underneath.

02 of 05

The Importance of Contact Time

What's the #1 cleaning mistake? Not waiting for the recommended amount of time a product must sit on a surface to kill the percent of bacteria or viruses it claims to destroy.

By hurrying the process and wiping up the cleaner too quickly, you can allow germs to linger on surfaces because you didn't actually eradicate them. When you buy a new cleaning product, take a second to read the fine print on the packaging and follow the suggested contact time.

03 of 05

The Daily Cleaning List

If you're not big on cleaning, you're probably not a fan of cleaning checklists. But to deter bugs and bad smells, it's important to know the five things you should clean every day.

  • Wash dirty dishes
  • Wipe kitchen counter
  • Take out kitchen trash
  • Treat spills and stains
  • Squeegee the shower

Many chores (like vacuuming) can wait, but learn the list of ones that need doing daily (like taking care of that spilled wine on the couch). If you get these chores done, you won't have to add new ones (like buying scented candles to refresh your smelly house).

04 of 05

The Trick to Cleaning a Burnt Pot

The longer burnt-on food sticks to a pot, the harder it is to remove. But there's a secret to cleaning a burnt pot: Fill it with water, heat it on the stovetop, then use a spatula to scrape off the food.

If the cooked-on food refuses to budge, try this same deglazing approach but with white vinegar. Then reach for a pan scraper made of hard polycarbonate to remove whatever's left.

05 of 05

The Refreshing of a Bed

All things considered, we spend a lot of time in bed. (It should be seven to nine hours a night for optimal health.) That fact alone can make you wonder just how clean your bed is.

Refreshing your bed includes dusting your mattress with the brush attachment of your vacuum and regularly machine washing your bedding, mattress pad, and pillows. Sheets require the most frequent washing, i.e., a minimum of once a week in the hottest water setting.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles